I don't dislike the holidays, but this year it's like pouring acid on an open wound. I seem to have been disowned by my last living extended relatives this summer. The last time I spoke to either my mother or my sister -- did not go well. I have no idea what to do for Christmas.
I should explain that I was abandoned at birth and adopted into an abusive family. I have chronic depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result. My family was okay with this. Well, they were okay with me being "weird" and seriously mentally ill as long as my condition was my own fault and something that would go away if I would just act like a normal person. By age 13 I was seeking out the school counselor almost every week just to talk. I knew I needed therapy and begged my parents to take me to a mental health counselor. They refused. "Good people" didn't go to such places. The day I turned 18 I walked to the state-funded mental health center.
After a false start they figured out the chronic depression. (The PTSD was only diagnosed recently.) The healthier I got the chillier Mom became, especially when the question came up if something in the enviroment was making me depressed. But the rest of my relatives would not let her kick me out.
Three years into a stable, loving relationship I finally admitted to myself I had been abused. I had known it since I was 9 or 10 but if I had admitted it to myself I would have been forced to act, and there was nothing I could do. And yet even after that, I kept trying to have some sort of meaningful relationship with Mom that allowed me to be something other than a whipping girl. I never argued with her if I could help it, even when it meant not mentioning things like finding out I was a Pagan. I kept hoping she'd change, even though she'd been the way she was for over 50 years. How stupid is that?
Over the years every other member of my extended family has died. Now all that's left is Mom, my sister, and me. Sis has never stood up to Mom. In hindsight it was only a matter of time before I got the boot. I thought her peer group at church wouldn't let her break off ties with the mother of her only grandchildren. They're the ones who pressured her into coming to see us when our first child was born, and on my birthdays when she couldn't schedule a senior tour for that week. She's never been more than her usual level of rudeness when we visit her, which is usually three or four times a year. I guess Mom figures with Sis married, Sis will give her grandbabies and she can dump my family completely. Sis hates kids, so I may not be the only delusional member of this family.
I feel pretty crappy these days. There's billions of decent, halfway decent and even half-assed mothers in this world. How'd I manage to luck up on a scared teenager for a birth mom and a schoolyard bully who never grew up for an adopted mom?
Seeing this written down, I realize I sound just like somebody talking about a divorce. I never thought I'd find myself in that position.